LKB1 and lung cancer: more than the usual suspects.
Often, the problem in cancer research is figuring out how a gene or pathway works in regulating cellular transformation. The question of what RAS activates or PTEN inhibits have been classic dilemmas of modern cancer biology. In these cases, biochemical and genetic studies have provided us with a fairly clear picture of the cancer relevant functions of these genes. For LKB1, a more recently identified human tumor suppressor gene, however, the problem is different. This serine-threonine kinase that is conserved from yeast to mammals seems to play a role in many diverse cellular pathways. Therefore, although elegant functional and genetic approaches have established critical roles for LKB1 in the regulation of metabolism, motility, polarity, and the cell cycle, the role(s) responsible for its true tumor suppressor function(s) is unknown. One is reminded of an Agatha Christie murder mystery where nearly every character in the book has reason to be suspected of committing the crime-there are too many suspects for how LKB1 might repress lung cancer.
Published In/Presented At
Shah, U., Sharpless, N. E., & Hayes, D. N. (2008). LKB1 and lung cancer: more than the usual suspects. Cancer research, 68(10), 3562–3565. https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6620
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine